Open Day 2017

Open Day 2017

On Saturday, 21 October, the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics (MPA) opened its doors for the public from 11:00 to 18:00. We cordially invited everybody to get to know our institute and its staff in Garching.

The research at MPA focusses on cosmology and galaxy formation, the physics of black holes, the evolution of stars, and stellar explosions. We build models for these processes, partially using simulations or supercomputers.

The institute is also involved in observational projects or uses their data to improve the theoretical models and to understand the physical processes behind the observations: systematic galaxy surveys, precise observations of supernova-explosions, data about the cosmic microwave background from the Planck-satellite successfully launched in 2009, X-ray satellites, or the radio-telescope LOFAR, which can be used to study for example magnetic fields in galaxies or the surroundings of black holes.

We informed about latest research results and recent progress in astronomy through

  • hourly talks were given by scientists:


Thomas Janka: Rätselhafte Supernovae – den Geheimnissen der größten kosmischen Explosionen auf der Spur


Vanessa Böhm: Einblicke in die Geburt des Universums


Fabian Schmidt: Gravitationswellen: Der Klang von Schwarzen Löchern und dem Urknall


Michael Gabler: Sternleichen – was bleibt am Ende eines Sternenlebens?


Simon White: Lichtspur des Urknalls: Ergebnisse vom Planck-Satelliten der ESA


Stefan Hilbert: Gravitationslinsen

  • a Kids Lab with simple hands-on experiments and handicrafts
  • a poster gallery and a “Astrosprechstunde” in the reception area: find out about black holes, exploding stars, cosmic gamma ray bursts, galaxies, and the evolution of the universe – students and anyone who is curious can discuss with our astrophysicists
  • a visit of our 60cm-telescope (limited amount of visitors)
  • the show in our planetarium "The Changing Universe" (limited capacity; every 45 minutes)



Inside the inflatable dome of our planetarium we take you on a journey from the sky above Munich back to the beginnings of the universe. Visit our neighbouring planets and observe the sun close-up. Find out interesting details about a star’s life, from birth until its death in a bright and explosive supernova. Come and travel with us even further – out of our Milky Way to remote galaxies and to the origin of the universe. The shows begin every 45 minutes; please see programme for details. There are about 20 seats inside the planetarium.


The observatory on the rooftop of our institute contains a 60cm reflecting telescope. Normally advanced students are trained here – now it’s your turn! Our staff explain how the telescope works and what can be observed. If there will be clear skies, you will be able to observe stars live, even during daylight!
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